I often get asked, “What is the ultimate Journe? The one that is THE Journe to get? If you could choose one, it would be the only one?”
Oh what a fun question, not really. In fact, for a watch lover, it’s a dreadful question. Although, I admit I have my own analysis and reasoning for pitching it to some friend but that is a discussion for another day.
Nevertheless, it’s a valid question that I’ve thought about for quite some time and I somewhat reached an answer three or so years ago and surprisingly, the answer hasn’t changed since.
Let me start off by saying that to each their own. There is no correct response as such is the case with almost anything. The answer is always, “It depends.”
So before we head into my personal opinion as to what my ultimate Journe is, I want to point out that my answer is not going to be one single answer. It will though consist of three separate responses and each response will appropriately have a solid explanation; my explanation.
Also keep in mind that the answers are not put into order of importance; they’re all equal and just have a different idea behind them. Therefore, since that much is cleared up, let’s start with the first of the Ultimate Journe series:
The Sonnerie Souveraine
Since it’s release in 2006, the manufacture has made approximately 50 or so by the time of writing, over a period spanning 12 years. Officially to be discontinued by the end of 2018, the Sonnerie Souveraine has always been the grande Journe, placed above all other models in discussions and brand marketing. Holding 10 patents developed over 6 years of research, this model gave the grand sonnerie complication a complete rework and something before never seen prior to its debut; a practical sonnerie.
When it comes to the man himself, he is known to be very direct and holds extremely high standards regarding his movements. He does what he can but in reality, he struggles to call even his own watches “Perfect”. However, on several occasions, I had asked him to rate his watches on a scale of 1-10 and each time the first thing he says is: “The Grande Sonnerie is a 10/10…” and then everything follows after. It is fair to say then, the Sonnerie holds a very proud and special place in his career that even his new grand complication replacement doesn’t dare to push it aside.
Of course we could go on to discuss the watch in more detail but that’s a completely different topic altogether. This is about discussing the ultimate Journe. In this case, one of my three choices, The Sonnerie Souveraine.
You would think that I would have a longer, more elaborate explanation to this Himalaya of a watch but that’s not the point. The true charm of this watch is that it is above everything. It has been one of Journe’s most challenging and proudest achievements for 12 years and continues to hold that position. Unfortunately, with a hefty price of near 700,000 CHF, I haven’t come around to buying one but if I had the choice to keep three watches, this would be one on the list.
just realized that the one in the back photo has a name engraved, is that the onwner’s name?
Each Sonnerie doesn’t have a serial number but it engraved with the name of the owner on the caseback & movement. In this case, F. Berthoud which is the name of an 18th century watchmaker whom Journe admires.